Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

SMSC Endowed Scholarship at U of M Applications Available

Preference Given to Applications Postmarked by March 1, 2012


Prior Lake, MN – March 1, 2012, will mark the priority deadline for filing an application for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Endowed Scholarship at the University of Minnesota for the 2012-2013 school year. The SMSC Endowed Scholarship was established in 2008 through a $2.5 million gift from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community into a matching endowment fund, creating a $5 million endowment to provide scholarships for American Indian students. While the final deadline for submission of applications is not until September 1, 2012, preference will be given to applications postmarked by March 1, 2012. Applications postmarked after September 1, 2012, will not be accepted.

To date, 60 students have received the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Endowed Scholarship.

“We encourage qualified graduating high school students from any state who are planning to attend any of the University of Minnesota campuses to look into this scholarship. While preference is given to enrolled members of federally recognized tribes, students who qualify under the Indian Education Act are also eligible if they meet the other requirements,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.

The SMSC scholarship program is designed to recruit and retain talented American Indian students with demonstrated financial need to the University of Minnesota. The SMSC scholarship program is administered by the University's Office for Equity and Diversity. The primary goal of the SMSC scholarship program is to support incoming University of Minnesota freshmen and transfer students with demonstrated financial need.

A smaller number of scholarships may also be awarded to qualified newly-admitted graduate and professional students in specific disciplines. For undergraduates, scholarships are renewable for up to four years or until graduation (whichever comes first) contingent upon academic performance. For graduate and professional students, the length of funding is contingent upon academic performance, the school of enrollment, and degree program and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Grades and financial need determine if the scholarship is renewed for the following school year for each student.

The SMSC Endowed Scholarship celebrated a milestone in the spring of 2011 when their first graduate, Korina Barry (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe), graduated from the U of M, Minneapolis campus with a Master’s degree in Social Work. Korina is the first of the 60 students who have received the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Endowed Scholarship to graduate.

Scholarship recipients thus far have come from across the country and from a number of different tribes. They come from Arizona, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota. More than one-quarter of the students are from Minnesota. Students previously awarded the SMSC Endowed Scholarships come from as far as New York, Utah, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Previous recipients have majors as diverse as Forensic Science to Music to Biochemistry to Dentistry.

“In today’s society, an education is essential, especially for our Indian people. We need our young people to protect our tribal sovereignty,” said Chairman Crooks.

To be considered for an SMSC scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:

-Admission to one of the University's of Minnesota's five campuses (Twin Cities, Crookston, Duluth, Morris, or Rochester) as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student.

-Enrollment or eligibility for enrollment in a federally-recognized tribe or students who qualify under the Indian Education Act

-Graduate and professional students must have an academic focus in one or more of the following areas: medicine, dentistry, or other health-related disciplines; public health; business administration/accounting; public policy or government administration; education; or law.

-Undergraduate scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.5 grade point average for SMSC scholarships to be renewed after the first year.

-Graduate and professional scholarship recipients must maintain a cumulative 3.0 grade point average for renewal.

Scholarship recipients will be selected by the SMSC Selection Committee which is comprised of representatives from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community along with U of M staff. For more information about the SMSC scholarship program, please go to or email Rickey Hall, Assistant Vice President for Equity and Diversity at the U of M, at


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